The Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Community Watchdog Newspaper, Owerri, Comrade Precious Nwadike, has reminded students of the Federal University of Technology (FUTO) Owerri, that five (5) years which are usually the period within which one would obtain a first degree in the institution is too much to be wasted in the classroom.
Comrade Nwadike who is also an ex-student of the renowned university of technology which was among the first batch of technologically based universities established in Nigeria in 1981, by ex-President Shehu Aliyu Shagari, on the return to democracy in 1979, advised the students to accept the prevailing challenges by acquiring extra skills after classroom works.
In a lecture he delivered during the Congress of Environmental Technology Department students week, held at the University Campus on March 3, 2020,he encouraged the students to be dedicated to whatever they find passion to do.
The speech was primarily on career building and was meant to disabuse the minds of the students from believing that the university degree is an end in itself, instead “it is a means to an end.Infact a stepping stone to stardom for those who persevere”.
According to Nwadike who also gave insight on how he started as a young person but became a successful entrepreneur, “I am not one of those persons who teach young people how they can become millionaires over night just by believing in God without doing any work when in actual sense; the same preachers depend on the already impoverished youths to pay their bills in form of offerings or training fees.
“The Bible says, I shall bless the works of your hand”. Where there is no work, God stays aloof and pays attention to the serious-minded people. I consider myself as one of the serious-minded persons. We laid our hands on something. Today, we are being blessed through what we do. No magic at all! No village person would have been responsible to my bad condition if I had chosen to do otherwise.
No doubt we have a bad situation here. It is worse now than our time, 11 years ago in FUTO when our parents could at least pay our school fees. Today, it is to your tent o! Israel. Some of our girls and boys now resort to all sorts of immoral ventures to pay their fees. More annoying is that after the struggle in school, one also struggles endlessly to secure the highly elusive job.
However, I am optimistic that most of these students have the capacity to do better than we have done. I never failed to remind them that days are gone when blue-chip companies in Nigeria went to our Universities in search of best brains for automatic employments. Today, the high and mighty have taken over the jobs and reserved same for their children, most of who may not have even studied here and obviously lack knowledge of our problems.
What is the way forward? I propose skill acquisition for every undergraduate and recommended that the entrepreneurship department in FUTO be made more feasible instead of a mere hypothesis that has not addressed the demands of the time.
We finally agreed to annually organize business plans, if you like, proposals competition in which my company and other alumni members of the Department who are well to do in different sectors of our economy can contribute to encouraging these students.
I am mindful of the fact that overseas, students work and still attend school. 5 years are just too precious to be wasted just in classrooms. Learning a skill while in school prepares you and avails you an option should you graduate without a job.
In conclusion, “we must avoid the anxiety that comes with graduation. From experience, after graduation, parents expect you to perform miracles towards taking care of your younger ones. We must develop a career while in school.
Finally, show me the poor man around you, especially a graduate and I will tell you the possible reason he is poor. Generally, poverty is a thing of the mind. A lot of our people are poor, hence suffer dependency syndrome”.
Nwadike described his visit to FUTO as homecoming and heartwarming.